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tell me about softwares used in oil companies.

There are a number of industry leading software packages.  They are generally divided up between a focus on geology and geophysics.  The big software providers were all purchased by the big service companies, in an attempt by them to be the sole source providers to their clients of all manner of services.  So in the 90's Halliburton purchased Landmark, and Schlumberger purchased Geoquest.

Those two companies used to provide high end Unix based software packages, but the computing power and price of PC computers increased so dramatically it was obvious they needed to make the change to the PC platform to remain competitive.  The smaller PC based software providers ate into their customer base in the meantime.

I worked for GeoQuest Schlumberger in the 90's.  During that period, the idea of Seismic to Simulation was big, SIS.   What it meant was they wanted to provide software that would allow the user to follow a workflow that would take them from interpreting processed seismic all the way through building a fault and horizon model, perform the geostatistic analysis on it, and populate it with reservoir parameter based data and export the completed reservoir model to a dynamic reservoir simulation package.  Halliburton was following the same development path.

I was in charge of the team developing one of those intermediate software packages at Schlumberger, and it was apparent that we could not take Geoframe to the next level to compete with the then industry leading package, so Schlumberger purchased them.  Schlumberger's premier package is called Petrel.  It is pretty good, it allows users to update the reservoir model on the fly, but is pretty pricey.  A Geoframe license was on the order of $100K, Petrel is probably the same.  

Landmark is also pretty pricey.  Both Petrel and Landmark market shares are confined to the major oil and gas companies.

I currently work for IHS which ownes two geology and geophysics software packages.  Seismic Micro Technology made Kingdom software a geophysics oriented package, but it also had geology functionality as well.  IHS a provider of petroleum related data acquired SMT and another package called Petra as well.  Petra is primarily geology interpretation software and the two, Kingdom and Petra will be merged into one package.

Our primary market is in the small single user, and the mid to small independent oil and gas exploration companies.  

There are other companies Paradigm is one that provides another package,   Hampson Russell is another.  They both have smaller market shares and compete with Kingdom for the lower end of the market.  Prices run from $10K to $20K depending on the license packages you purchase and the level of functionality that you want.


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Keith Patton


I can answer questions concerning physical and historical geology, environmental geology/hydrology, environmental consulting, remote sensing/aerial photo interpretation, G&G computer applications, petroleum exploration, drilling, geochemistry, geochemical and microbiological prospecting, 3D reservoir modeling, computer mapping and drilling.I am not a geophysicist.


I have 24 years experience split between the petroleum and environmental industries. I have served as an expert witness in remote sensing, developmental geologist, exploration geologist, enviromental project manager, and subject matter expert in geology and geophysical software development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Photogrammetrists and Remote Sensing

Bachelor and Master of Science
Registered Geologist in State of Texas

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